North Korea missile tests continue to rile lawmakers in Washington

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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - North Korean leader Kim Jong Un continues to test missiles, and that is testing the international community. The intercontinental ballistic missiles are said to have far-reaching abilities.

Sen. Joe Manchin (R-WV) says China needs to step up in helping to stop North Korea's nuclear program.

“If you’re an American, you should be concerned,” said Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV).

Manchin sits on the Intelligence Committee. We spoke to Manchin just before the rogue nation tested another intercontinental ballistic missile late last week.

“All they’re using is rhetoric and being able to follow up on that rhetoric by throwing an atomic bomb somewhere at us or at somebody else. We can’t tolerate that,” said Manchin.

He and many other lawmakers continue to call on China to help thwart North Korea’s nuclear program.

“If they want to be a global power that takes responsibility. If they want to be a leader, then lead,” said Manchin.

The White House is noticeably frustrated with China’s response. Sebastian Gorka, deputy assistant to the president, says China has an important role to play and the administration would like to see a change in behavior.

“(The Chinese) control more than 80 percent of the imports into North Korea so that is a very important lever they could exercise,” said Gorka.

Gorka says the White House’s current strategy is “peaceful pressure.” But, he says if push comes to shove, all options are on the table.

“This president, unlike the prior president, understands that at the end of the day diplomacy without the option of force behind those words is just empty rhetoric,” said Gorka.

A bill that would further sanction North Korea currently sits on President Trump’s desk.

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